Anyone feeling the pressure?

Rio_GrandeMay 29, 2013

I can't remember ever being this late getting row crops out. Our early stuff it's teetering, could bolt any day. I have taken measures to prevent it but, hard to say. We just got some beds covered today. Two more 200 footers to go then plant the 3. We have plenty in the ground it is just all late. Our CSA shares understand and know we will make it up later in the season. Hay is way late.... The good news is I feel better after typing this!

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katydid85(8)

I am certainly feeling the pressure! No rain in almost 6 weeks, grasshoppers going WILD, and I'm on my third seeding of curcurbits (great). Our summer market starts in 2 weeks and I have little more than green onions, kale, chard, and a small variety of herbs. On the plus side, I harvested my first ripe tomato today! The hoops paid off for sure, but the critters have taken a huge toll on my crops!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:06PM
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brookw_gw

I just get started and it rains, and I've had an endless run of interruptions. I've decided it gets done when it gets done. I have had to replant before way into June, and things still made it, so I'm not going to sweat what I can't help. Maybe during this rainy weekend, I'll get all my late tomatoes and fall cole crops started. Sometimes, when I stand alone in the middle of that 5 acres with a hoe in hand, it gets a little daunting. Then at the end of the day, I think of what a dent in it I made. What really sucks is that on weekends when I do have some help, it rains. Oh, well. I must say I've had a banner year for asparagus, and my fruit so far is looking amazing!!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:16PM
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katydid85(8)

Standing alone in the middle of 5 acres with a hoe in hand... Beautifully said. I completely understand. Some days I love that feeling, some days I wish I could afford the help :) but there is something to be said for running that amount of land yourself!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Rio_Grande

I looked at the weather forecast on Tuesday and planned the week out, it started out well this morning and I met all but one of my goals. Turned out when I checked the weather today that now Friday is 50% chance of rain and Saturday is 70% glad I didn't cut alfalfa.

Looks like I will Finnish the beds tomorrow and get the last field of corn planted. Then when the rain is done we can entertain the hay.

I have other things I should be doing but gotta make hay when the sun is shining.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:58PM
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2ajsmama

I know exactly how you feel! My kale and spinach is going well, lettuce is starting to germiante (I saw some little red leaves oking up I'm sure are not weeds where I did my first broadcast), Asian greens are up (though some cots look sunburnt/bleached) and the carrots are just starting to germinate under the burlap.

But it's going to be high 80's/90 for the next 3 days! How to protect all these tender green seedlings (and the kale and spinach)? Damp burlap during the afternoons? Mulch hay? Completely cover the kale and spinach leaves? At least most of it (except the broadcast looseleaf lettuce, beets and chard not up yet) gets AM shade.

Would rigging up some sort of shade cloth (I'd have to cut hoops to go over the kale) be better than mulch/burlap? I have old sheets.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 6:59AM
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myfamilysfarm

I gave up on stressing over things that I can't control, like weather. It's not worth it.

Just remember, if you are having trouble with the weather, your competition is also.

As far as finding labor, I take what I can get, but it's never enough.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 8:50AM
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gama_garden_tx(9)

I would use the old sheets. What variety of kale do you grow? I grow Red Russian because it tolerates a wide swing in temperatures (a very common occurrence in my climate. The climate here can easily go from mid 30's/40's to mid 80's within a few hours in the spring and 70's to 110 in the summer) This is not even the desert, but 40 degree changes in a few hours are very common!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 2:42PM
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2ajsmama

Red Russian isn't doing too well - the White Russian is looking lots better, the Dwarf Blue Vates is smaller (obviously) but looks good too. All look pretty good today uncovered but I may water a little tonight (even though we got rain last night - and about a month's worth of rain in the past week).

I am just leaving the burlap on the carrots - they are so tiny and delicate right now I don't want them o dry out at all.

Do you think I should put burlap over the lettuce while it's at the cotelydon stage right now?

Got my edamame (about 60 seeds, half the rows were too wet to plant) and beans (about 45 of each Kentucky Wonder and Bush Blue Lake) in this morning. Didn't soak them first, hope that won't be a problem even though the raised bed wasn't as moist as the trenches where I was planting edamame. Supposed to get scattered T storms again tonight and maybe Sunday, Monday.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 3:09PM
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myfamilysfarm

I wouldn't cover anything that was already sprouted thru the ground, yes, you might lose some, but if the rains aren't bad, they should be fine.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 6:12PM
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Rio_Grande

Made some progress today! It was delivery day for our first ever CSA distribution. We don't have a lot of takers but we are glad we didn't take on more that we could handle. As bad as I thought it was we put out a good order, 2 large bags of lettuce, bunch of Swiss chard, green onions, spinach, radishes, mint, cilantro, 2 dozen eggs and a gift of last years cream corn. We don't eat near what we put up and everyone seemed to like it.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:18PM
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2ajsmama

Congratulations on your first CSA order! Nice you have chickens so you can count on eggs (before they hatch LOL) if the crops aren't doing well. Does your state have restrictions of selling canned goods? Ours only allows jams and jellies (still trying to figure out pickles 2 years after the law was amended to allow those). No way can we do creamed corn o anything else that requires pressure canning.

Marla - I was more concerned with the heat than rains - we've had plenty of heavy rains and even the head lettuce I planted in a row on the edge of a bed seems to be "sagging" down the side of the bed a little. Now forecast is for 92 tomorrow so I will be rigging up a canopy of sorts to shade the kale and spinach. No rain in tonight's forecast but it looks ominous and I did hear a rumble so I brought the tomatoes back into the garage/basement (figure they should harden off better in the basement LOL since it's about 50 and next week the nights are supposed to be around that).

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:29PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I am so sick of getting rained on! The spring crops are doing great and everyone thought we would have none. But it has been one awful spring.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:43PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Despite the cold weather, I am almost all caught up on planting. We have been bombarded with tornadoes in the area and 60- 70 mph winds. I thought that was loosing a high tunnel or more on Tuesday evening. Our house was rocking, the windows were flexing and my neighbor (1/4 mile away) lost a 1.5 wide tree, it was snapped off a few feet off the ground.

I have about 200 peppers to get planted. We have been have 25-35 mph winds most of this week. It wasn't worth it to try to plant them and have them all be broken off.

I am glad I took a personal day off from school several weeks ago. It really put me ahead. I was able to get all my ground retilled and laid all my plastic mulch. With all the plastic mulch laid, I was able to get out and transplant the day after we had 1.8 inches of rain. Now my biggest problem is weeding. I have some really weedy carrots, onions, and garlic.

Jay

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:10PM
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Rio_Grande

Ajsmama

We thought about that. When we put out the weekly news letter we put it in there as a sample of what they may wish to do. With their corn later in the season. I called it a gift and that's what I ment it as. Before we could include it as part of the distribution we will have to clarify the law. We don't intend to go that route just thought it would be a nice gift from our house to theirs. Hope we weren't wrong.

We were expecting a heavy rain tonight but it might have missed us we hope! I have tons of lettuce,, so much we may take it to the farmers market. We have been sorting it to keep the bug bit ones out of the shares. We have about 5 bags of bug nibbled salad in our fridge. Most of my meals this week have been salad and bologna.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:21PM
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myfamilysfarm

We got a few rounds of heavy rain, don't know how much, but lots of rain.

In Indiana, you can only sell jam, jellies and bake goods from your home or from farmers markets ONLY. If you take the items off your property, you can't sell it. Gifts are a totally different animal.

Rio, I would take the bug nibbled to market. I've always told my customers that 'if a bug won't eat it, neither will I'. Show them how to tear the bug bite off.

My plants are still in the greenhouse, but in larger pots, until we can get enough energy to get some in the ground. We plan on planting some in big pots (tree pots) are keeping them in the greenhouse (with doors open).

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:43AM
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2ajsmama

I just counted all my plants hardening off, subtracted ones for myself and family (and ones neighbors told me they would buy), have to make up labels for the pots but I'm bringing extras to Grange sale in the morning. Hopefully I won't have any left to sell at market on the 19th - I'm late getting mine in the ground b/c I wanted to wait til the harsh (cold, rainy, hot) weather was over. 88 yesterday, supposed to be 92 today. Just pulled chicken out of the oven (to eat cold tonight).

We got a heavy downpour night before last, nothing last night but thunder. Could have heavy rains Sunday and Monday nights, but I think I really need to start planting these Sunday. I'll start with the determinates going near the house so maybe I can throw a tarp over them (only 25 ft row with trellis I can drape over) if it does get bad.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:05AM
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Rio_Grande

Today showed a good bit of progress. We got the last 1/4 acer of corn in, more tomato plants in 400 feet of okra planted 1/2 acer of corn cultivated and some drip irrigation completed. It was a productive day!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:01PM
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brookw_gw

I managed to get a couple hundred tomatoes in, caged, staked, and mulched--maybe a hundred peppers and eggplants--the first plantings of summer squash, cukes, okra, beans, cantaloupe, and a few watermelons. 4 inches of rain came after that. Still have about 2 1/2 acres of sweet potatoes, pumpkins, gourds, melons, and winter squash to get in. With all this rain, the weeds are really taking off too. Thankfully, no great winds here.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 4:10PM
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2ajsmama

Looks like more rain coming too. And still winds/tornados. Be safe everybody!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 5:21PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

I almost hate to say I am not feeling the pressure and we are on time, if not a bit ahead of the game this year. We are on our 6th week of CSA and just took on two additional members as we are swimming in asparagus, lettuce, spring mix, strawberries, leeks, several kinds of herbs, rhubarb. I started pulling garlic scapes Thursday and see onion sets are about 2 weeks from being ready.

We are almost done with the night shades and have started planting the melons and winter squash. We have been a bit dry if anything but nothing like last year at this time when we had not gotten any rain in a month or more and it was HOT.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Rio_Grande

Well whatever catching up I thought I had don might have just been erased. Fresh planting of corn yesterday looked like little canals, so the seed likely washed out.
Got a call today and 3 of the 7 rows in the big field were loosing their plastic due to wind and rain we got. When I looked it appeared so much rain fell that it washed the extra dirt away leaving only a small amount which wasn't enough, gonna have to do that different next year,

Appears we fixed everything but the corn, be a week at least on. That.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 8:31PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Oh no! It definitely is a year that some farmers will decide to quit.

I give out various things as gifts with the CSA. Really all baked goods are because evidently they are only ok to sell at the market not from home/farm. I had a turkey day pie sign up last fall at market and met up with the customers to hand off pies Wednesday night. A member of our market said that was wrong and selling pumpkin pies at all is illegal because they are a custard pie. This year she got vocal about it at our committee meeting and now I cannot bring pumpkin pies to market. Now what to do with all the Luxury pie pumpkins?!

Lucy, your 'on time' is different than some. Personally if I don't get tomatoes in with cover by early May I feel late. If all the cucurbits are not planted by 6/1 I feel late. If the other solanaceous crops are not in by 5/20 I feel late.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 1:11PM
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myfamilysfarm

As far as your pumpkins, teach your customers how to make those pies.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 1:34PM
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Rio_Grande

What a great week!
Over 1700 feet of double rows planted. 2200 feet of drip irrigation an supporting tube. Going through cool season beds trying to keep what we can growing. I built a cover for the beds to hang our row cover on to shad everything. Musters goin in as soon as they arrive. Picked for CSA deliverys tonight and am apparently at war with some slugs. Still need to run 1200 ish more feet of drip line in the corn and I will be,,, well behind again!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:01AM
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myfamilysfarm

Get the beer out, not for you, but the slugs. I've seen more slugs and snails this year than every. Snails are huge, maybe I should cook them..

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Rio_Grande

Tried that last night. Caught 3, picked dozens while cleaning lettuce. It's a shame. They take a pristine piece of lettuce and bight a hole right in the middle.

Will try it again tonight.

Would sluggo made of iron be considered organic? We are not an organic farm but do try and stay away from chemicals.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 2:29PM
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randy41_1

sluggo is considered organic. it works but needs to be reapplied regularly.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Rio_Grande

Ok randy, can't find it around here, we will keep with the beer in the mean time. I am using soap and water for the aphids and barely winning that fight.

We never had slugs or aphids of any consequence in the past but this year we do! Diatomacious earth always took care of this in the past but not this year.

Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Rio_Grande

Finally easing up around here,, almost to the watch it grow phase. We always have a party when planting is done. This year is no exception. This weekend is smoked pork and brisket, we will clean out the freezer and cook up the leftover squash and okra. I think my parents always do this to remind us what all the work is for. Well besides the money.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Rio_Grande

Came back to this post. Pressure is on here again. Our quest to hit the markets just right have us loosing out toour Amish neighbors. Everything will start coming on in the next few weeks, corn crop is being threatened this year by ear worms. Normally they don't get too fired up till the silks start to drop. This year I have infested ears that haven't even un curled. Can't treat them with veg oil yet because they haven't pollinated yet.

I love growing veggies. This year for some reason has been very frustrating despite some successes in the early crops.
Ok, I am done whining. I will get back to work!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 1:43AM
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